Just recently we were approached by the state of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources(DNR) regarding The Maryland Resident Curatorship Program, which offers historic properties for lifetime tenancy in exchange for restoring, maintaining and occasionally making the properties available to the public. Who knew that something like this even existed?! Not us. So, we definitely wanted to find out more about this great program that could be the perfect option for any historic home junkies or serial renovators out there that do not want the burden of home owning, yet want to enjoy many of the perks.
We spoke with Peter Morrill, who is the Curator Program Manager for Land Acquisition and Planning, a division of Maryland’s DNR to get the scoop on how the program works and who is eligible for applying to this program. In short, the DNR oversees over 500,000 acres of land and thousands of structures many of which are historic due to the rich history that the state of Maryland possesses. With so many properties to maintain the state quite frankly has too look to outside sources to ensure that these historic properties remain part of the state’s historical fabric. We also learned that Maryland was the first state to pioneer and institute a program like this, which they started back in 1982 and has led the way for many other states to adopt similar programs. The number of properties that come up each year varies depending on inventory but typically averages about one a year.
The most recent property is named the Old Bohemia Tenant House named after the local historic Old Bohemia Church (aka. St. Xavier Church), which is right down the road and located north-west of Warwick in Cecil County. This historic property is one of the last farmhouses constructed to work the land of the Roman Clergy and was built in 1840. The house consists of a two and a half story main block that offers seven rooms and two bathrooms with a one and a half story wing that houses the mudroom, laundry and kitchen. The property itself offers approximately ten acres of agricultural fields, forest and non-tidal wetlands and provides natural habitat for migratory birds, turkey, deer and rabbits for every naturalist and animal lover to enjoy. One of the best parts of the Maryland’s Resident Curatorship program in our opinion is that it is open to both residential and commercial entities (both for non-profits and for-profit companies).
As the title of this entry suggests, Old Bohemia Tenant House is seeking a life partner to take her for better or worse and until death do them part. She needs a little love to bring her back to her former glory. But, with vision and a little hard work she will repay her new curators tenfold. So, if you or or any other property junkies out there are looking for a great historic property restoration adventure in a beautiful part of Maryland-then this could be your dream project. You have to hurry though, deadlines for proposals are June, 29th 2015!
For more information about this property and program eligibility click here.